Who will turn out to be the safest No. 1 fantasy baseball pick this season?
Keith Cordero Jr.
The safest No. 1 fantasy pick in 2008 without a doubt is 2007 AL MVP Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez has always received criticism for his playoff struggles and his fielding issues, but nonetheless A-Rod is a man among boys when he is at the plate.
Last season’s stat sheet included 54 home runs, 156 RBI’s, a .314 batting average, a .645 slugging percentage, 143 runs and he even stole 24 bases. The best and safest pick has been one of the most consistent players over the past 10 seasons with at least 35 home runs, 100 RBI’s and 100 runs scored since 1998.
When it comes to fantasy baseball Rodriguez is the highest-rated player because he puts up all of the best numbers throughout the entire season without missing many games. Draft day is here; pick A-Rod.
There’s no doubt Rodriguez will probably be the No. 1 overall pick in all fantasy baseball leagues this season. But is he in a class alone when it comes to overall production at the plate? I think not.
Colorado slugger Matt Holliday, the 2007 National League MVP runner-up, has really come into his own over the last two seasons. Someone will roll the dice and take him No. 1 overall. Last season, Holliday led the NL in batting average (.340), RBIs (137), doubles (50) and hits (216).
In addition, Holliday, 28, is younger than Rodriguez, 32, and he plays his home games in Coors Field, a ballpark that is generally more hitter-friendly than Yankee Stadium.
For now, Rodriguez remains the safest No. 1 overall pick. But if Holliday continues at his current rate, he’ll soon have that spot.
Everyone knows home runs and runs batted-in are important, but fantasy baseball players know that stolen bases are the key to winning fantasy baseball.
Florida Marlin shortstop Hanley Ramirez is the safest pick for fantasy baseball. He steals bases (51 last season), hits (212), hits for average (.332), doesn’t strike out as much as A-Rod (95 compared to Rodriguez’s 120) and hits for power for a lead off hitter (29 home runs). Think Jose Reyes with pop.
Expect Ramirez to get better this season, and being at the lead off spot will get him more at-bats for more chances.
Home run hitters are a dime a dozen, whereas the art of the stolen base is a lost art. You take Ramirez and lock up steals, average and you get some power from a shortstop.
Rodriguez and Holliday are nice, easy picks, but the safest pick for 2008 is Ramirez.
Judge Dredd can’t tell if Jong is crazy or just brave. Hanley Ramirez? A Florida Marlin? Man, he chose to think way out of the box with this pick, but the logic is there.
Ramirez has the stats. He provides the steals, batting average and the hits. It’s just weird hearing "Florida Marlins," "No. 1" and "safest" mentioned in the same sentence. It sent a chill down Judge Dredd’s barbed-wire infused spine.
Judge Dredd’s choice for the safest No.1 pick would be rising superstar David Wright. The Mets third baseman would have been the NL MVP last season if his team hadn’t imploded, and his offensive stats have improved every season in his four-year career. A .325 batting average, 30 homeruns, 34 stolen bases and 107 RBI in 2007 are not too shabby.
Judge Dredd should disqualify each of you for not being Mets fans, but he has chosen to overlook your insolence.
Verdict: Jong wins because Rodriguez had "absolutely no comment" to Jose Conseco’s steroids accusations.